Fantasy NBA - The Beast Report: Paul Pierce, Marc Gasol and more
When introducing the Beast Report, I told you that I would not put on any established superstars. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and others are not allowed to be a part of the report, because we all know how great they are. Older veterans that are past their prime are indeed allowed on the report.
The players below have been dominating in fantasy basketball this season. One player on this list might come as a surprise, but even being in the league for 15 seasons he is still able to be the fantasy beast he has been his whole career. Who is that person? You will be able to figure it out!
Marc Gasol, center, Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies look like a contending team and Gasol is the centerpiece of them. He has also been a centerpiece for fantasy teams as well. Gasol has been performing like a top 10 fantasy player. Gasol helps fantasy owners in just about every standard-scoring category. Gasol plays nearly 37 minutes per game in a very deep lineup. He shoots over 90 percent from the charity stripe and 52 percent from the field.
He grabs about seven rebounds and blocks 1.3 shots per game ... standard for centers. The most interesting stat of Gasol's is his 4.8 assists he contributes per outing. You do not see too many centers contribute as much in the playmaking portion of the offense. Gasol scores 15.3 points per game, showing that he is a major factor in the Grizzlies' offense. Yes, he is having a better season than his brother Pau.
Mike Conley, guard, Memphis Grizzlies: The other reason for the Grizzlies successful start is because of the play of their starting point guard. I must say that when Conley and Ohio State teammate Greg Oden were drafted in the same draft, I thought Oden would be the superstar. I am sure the majority of basketball fans would have agreed with me. I was wrong. While Oden can barely walk without hurting himself, Conley continues to move up the point guard rankings every year.
Conley has scored 14.8 points per game, while shooting 49.2 percent from the hardwood. He is great at drawing the double when penetrating to the hoop, making him able to contribute a lot of assists. He dishes 6.5 assists per game. On defense, he is just as effective as he has swiped the ball 2.2 times per game, which ranks him in the top five in the league. He makes at least one three-pointer per game and shoots 84.4 percent from the free-throw line. In a light point guard pool, Conley has been a top-tier point guard.
Paul Pierce, forward, Boston Celtics: He still has game. Scoring 20.1 points per game, Pierce has proven to still be the top Celtic of the group and the most pivotal piece of the team. He is always able to find open looks and makes about 43 percent of his shots. What I have always liked about Pierce is his defense. His 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game show just how prominent of a defender he is.
You can never sleep on a player who is considered a No. 1 option for their team. Until he proves otherwise, you need to have him in your lineup (same for Tim Duncan, as I mentioned two weeks ago in my Beast Report). Pierce is also very good at drawing contact, because he is a bigger small forward. He shoots 87.2 percent from the line. We all know how good Pierce has been, but to be able to put up those kind of stats in his 15th season definitely makes him a fantasy beast and worthy of making this list.
Chandler Parsons, forward, Houston Rockets: With the Rockets still trying to build a rotation with a very young core, Parsons has been able to excel with his 37 minutes of playing time per game. The combo forward has shown he can be that second scoring option when James Harden is struggling. He has scored 15.5 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the field. Parsons helps out in many other standard categories, as well.
On the defensive side, he grabs seven boards a game and steals the ball once per game. Parsons also has dished 3.5 assists per game. Parsons is developing into a Ryan Anderson-type player, as he can shoot from anywhere and still play solid defense inside. You want that type of player on your fantasy team. Parsons also makes 2.4 three-pointers per game, as well, which shows his range. He would be a good option to trade for, because at his current value you would not have to sell the farm to acquire him. If you wait another month, his value might skyrocket to a whole new level.
Goran Dragic, Guard, Phoenix Suns: It is very hard to replace a big-game, impactful player. It is even harder, though, when that player you are replacing is former NBA MVP Steve Nash. Dragic had gained a lot of hype going into the season and had learned under the tutelage of Nash the previous season. I hope Nash considers coaching when he retires because, like Mike Conley, Dragic has been playing like a top-five NBA point guard.
Dragic has scored 16 points per game shooting 47 percent from the field. He has dished 7.1 assists and has stolen the ball 2.1 times per game. He is one of the quickest guards in the league and is very good at leading the break and in transition offense. Transition offense will work in Dragic's favor, because it will give him the opportunity to provide even more assists. He will also grab you a couple of rebounds per game and will block a shot on occasion as well. It is hard to buy low on Dragic at this point because he has lived up to the hype. If you have two solid assists men on your team along with Dragic, sell high immediately.
About Justin "Fensty" Fensterman
Fensterman covers fantasy basketball for KFFL and joined the team in 2012. He is a Sports Radio Producer on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports Radio channel, the first channel dedicated solely to fantasy sports. An avid fantasy basketball player, Fensty's biggest accomplishment in the fantasy sports world was in 2004 when he had an undefeated season in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA league and was ranked in the top 30 among all players in the world.
A native from Oyster Bay, NY, Fensty left New York to study Broadcast Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. in 2005. Fensty has previously worked for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, MTV and News 12: Long Island. Follow @FenstySports
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